The Colonial Street we know now has been through a number of changes through the years. Universal is a working studio, not a museum, and many of the standing sets have changed and evolved considerably over the years.
1946 - 1963 The story begins in 1946 when a few houses began construction on Stage 12 for So Goes My Love. After the movie wrapped, the sets were put into storage, until 1950, when the houses (along with other house sets built from stock units) were moved outside to the north edge of the backlot (the former site of River Road) and were christened Colonial Street, after the Colonial Mansion which was the first house on the street.
1964 - 1980 With the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood, Colonial Street (along with the Psycho house) was a key attraction. The tour guide listed the 1940s and 1950s movies in which the structures were first used.
1981 - 1988 Colonial Street was moved in 1981 to it's present location from the other side of the backlot. Some of the buildings that used to be part of Colonial Street were incorporated into Industrial Street, which is now known as Elm Street.
1988 More upheaval to prepare for filming of the Tom Hanks comedy The 'Burbs. The old Leave it to Beaver house is removed to make way for the larger houses required by the production. See 1988 map.
1989 - 1996 Following The 'Burbs, the houses are rearranged again to open up Circle Drive once more. See 1989-1996 map.
1996 - 2004 A newly built Beaver house reappears on Colonial Street for the 1996 Leave it to Beaver movie, replacing properties built for The 'Burbs. The Providence house also appears in this time period.
2004 - present Colonial Street has changed forever into Wisteria Lane, following the massive success of ABC's Desperate Housewives. As well as a much-needed repaint and refurbishment of the old sets, the Colonial Mansion has now gone, the Munsters House is much less scary and new structures have been built on Circle Drive. It remains to be seen what will happen after Desperate Housewives has finished with the area.